That’s why they’re the most collectable of all Squier Stratocasters.
Below you can see how these first export-only Squier Strats looked, with Fender 'spaghetti' branding, and the addition of a small Squier logo.
Initially, all carried the USA-made pickups for which these early JV series guitars have become renowned, but other parts – scratchplates for instance – could be American on the most expensive variant, but Japanese on the cheapest.
The first wave of JV series Strats intended for the Japanese market carried full Fender branding.
That’s everything, by the way – not just the Strats.
So the number of remaining JV Squier Strats with a Fender ‘spaghetti’ logo and ‘Squier series’ denotation on the headstock is bound to be pretty small – minimally so if you’re looking for one in good condition.
THE PREMIUM OUTPUT The first Strats made in Japan by Fender were vintage reissue ’57 and ’62 replicas, launched in Tokyo on Friday 7th May 1982.
The new line of instruments, produced by Fuji Gen Gakki, featured serial numbers beginning with the letters JV, and they’re accordingly known as the JV series.
I've now added a full study of the first Korean Squiers, which you find in The Truth About... But suffice it to say that the ‘80s Korean Squiers were inherently and consistently inferior to their Japanese predecessors, and they had what I’d describe as ‘double-take’ retail prices.
All either ’57 or ’62 reissues, they were exported from spring 1982 for a couple of months or so – notably, however, not to the USA.
The export models featuring ‘Squier series’ augmentation on the headstock were said to have numbered not many more than 3,000 instruments.
The most serious problem, though, lies with the sellers who use the great reputation of the very best JV Squiers, to sell inferior Squiers made in the latter phase of the '80s, for totally unjustified prices.
This article, along with its companion piece on the '80s Korean models, sets out to provide an impartial and realistic look at the sometimes great, and sometimes not so great, 1980s Squier Strat.
Very similar to an American vintage reissue but with ‘Made in Japan’ beneath the Fender logo, next to a slightly chunkier version of the ‘With Synchronized Tremolo’ lettering.